Sunday, December 2, 2012

Windshield and Trim Installation - 1963 - Mid-Year - C2

There is very little information on the Internet about how to install a 1963 Corvette windshield.  As such, I'll be a little more detailed with my methods and techniques, be them right or wrong.

The 63 Corvette windshield trim is unique as it is only 4 pieces.  Our trim will be sanded with 800 grit sandpaper, hand rubbed with steel wool followed by a firm buffing wheel then a soft wheel. 

The back side of our trim is dirty and caked with old weather stripping.  This side will be cleaned with Goof-Off only.

The 1963 Corvette windshield requires 18 thin clips and 6 thick clips.  The clips are for the top and bottom molding only, not the sides.  Be advised that after market clips are notorious for not working very well.  

As such, I decided to do a dry fit of the trim and trim clips.  I masked the paint to prevent scratches and used small pieces of tape to mark clip locations.  During this process I discovered that the trim clips I had ordered from Zip Corvette were not engaging, they were horrible.  Corvette discussion groups on the Internet told me Paragon makes a better clip so I ordered a set.  They worked OK but I suspect OEM is best.  You just can't find them though.  Trim clips are pricey at about $4 each.

The windshield was weatherproofed with 3M Bedding and Glazing Compound, part # 08509.   The backside of the clips get this compound before installation.  If you don't do this the windshield will leak. 

All the clips are installed in this photo.  The 6 wide clips are located on the lower trim piece, three on each end.  The windshield frame is extra thick in these locations and require special clips.

Bedding compound is then applied around the full perimeter of the windshield frame.

The windshield gasket is installed around the windshield then a nylon cord is inserted in the slot that accepts the car body.  This goes all the way around the windshield.  The windshield is then set on the windshield opening then the cord is slowly pulled from the inside of the car allowing the gasket to lap over the windshield frame.  Gerri and I did it in the first try but I understand others are not typically as fortunate.  The windshield fell into place when the last couple inches of cord were pulled.  

It looks great. 

The upper corners needed a little extra compound so I force fed them with extra compound and a stick.

I smoothed the corners over with a rag dampened with Goof-Off.

Now it's time to seal the gasket to the windshield.  For this I filled a cake frosting bag with bedding compound then used the back side of a plastic spoon to lift the gasket.  After this was completed I used Goof-Off to remove the excess compound.  It worked very well with no damage to the paint.

Unlike the rear windows, the windshield trim pieces are installed separately.  First the upper and lower pieces are snapped into position then the side pieces are slid into position and screwed down.

I am very pleased with the results and it went a lot better than I had expected.  Patience is key.

I am not sure what's next.  Whatever it is, the wiring harness won't be too far away.

Thanks for watching.


  1. Thanks for sharing this tutorial, many people are in search for such kind of rare information, it is a nice thing to install a windshield on your own but if you are not that much skilled don't ever try it.

  2. Good to know about the Paragon trim clips. I have a '65 Corvette convertible, but your tutorial will be pretty useful. Thanks from Brazil!

  3. Congratulations Well explained an illustrated. I was going to hire this job out, but I know it would be done wrong. Thanks Gary

  4. Trying to install the windshield moldings on a '65 coupe and having problems with the fit and the clips. Can you tell me more about the Paragaon clips. Bought mine at Corvette Central and they don't like holding the moldings, which also don't seem to fit really well either.

  5. Robert,

    Aftermarket windshield molding clips are horrible. Corvette Central clips never worked for me either. Paragon clips held much better but theirs were still hit and miss. Some held and some didn't. If you can find OEM clips on eBay I buy those in a heartbeat OEM are hands down the best but so so hard to find. If you can't wait for OEM I'd buy Paragon. All the others are worthless. Good luck!

  6. Thanks for the information difficult to find. The 1963 Corvette Shop Manual says for the 837: Both 837 and 867 use 13 type B clips equally spaced on the lower frame section. 837 Models use 11 type A clips equally spaced on the top frame section. You did something different from what they describe, was there a later revision to Chevrolet's procedures or your method was based on someone's experience?

    Thanks, John

  7. The number and types of clips used were the same as what I found when I removed the windshield. I believe it was the first time the windshield had been removed. Web search will show various options used throughout the model year. This is an early 63, yours may be different. Good luck!